Infant Probiotics: Does Your Baby Need Them
If you spend any time talking to moms of infants, the conversation inevitably turns to probiotics.
These tiny bacteria are hailed as digestive superheroes for everything from constipation to colic! In recent years, probiotics have gone from an alternative health concept to a lifestyle-conscious buzzword to mainstream wellness advice.
But what exactly are probiotics? In this article, well explore what makes these good bacteria so glorious for immune function.
Less Diarrhea Fewer Respiratory Infections
During the study, there were nearly one third fewer episodes of diarrhea in the probiotic group when compared to the placebo. Furthermore, the placebo group had more than double the respiratory tract infections compared with those taking L. reuteri. The differences persisted during the 12-week follow-up.
Get free updates on babys first year! Free Updates on First Year
Your Baby Is In Daycare And You Want To Decrease Their Chance Of Getting Sick
Babies and toddlers who are around other kids in a daycare setting tend to get sick more frequently than children who stay at home. If you want to decrease your babys chances of getting sick, Kaufmann says probiotics may help, citing a study that found a decrease in incidence of rhinopharyngitis for children in daycare when they drank a fermented yogurt drinkProdeus A, Niborski V, Schrezenmeir J, Gorelov A, Shcherbina A, Rumyantsev A. Fermented Milk Consumption and Common Infections in Children Attending Day-Care Centers: A Randomized Trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 63:534-543. .
Recommended Reading: What Does Probiotics Do For Your Stomach
How Can You Give Probiotics To Infants
Probiotics are available in the liquid and powder form, both of which are easy to give to the child. The supplements in the liquid form can be mixed into the regular diet of the child, be it breast milk or solid food. It can also be given to the child directly. If the supplement is in the powdered form, you can dip your finger in it and make your child suck the powder off your finger. This also ensures that the supplement is absorbed by the body instantly.
New Data On Probiotics In Kids:
- Probiotics are associated with lower rates of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children in both children given antibiotics outside of the hospital and those who were inpatient. Probiotics were associated with lower rates of antibiotic-associated diarrhea compared with control groups . Similarly, probiotics were associated with lower rates of antibiotic-associated diarrhea compared with those children given placebo .
- Probiotics decreased the duration of diarrhea that started while children were taking antibiotics. probiotics were associated with a lower mean duration of diarrhea compared with the control group . And although 1 and a half days doesnt seem all that significant talk to any parent of a young child with diarrhea coming out the sides of a diaper!
- There were no increased adverse events reported in children given probiotics. Yay!
Bottom line: if your child is prescribed antibiotics, talk to your pediatrician or nurse practitioner and/or pharmacist about supplementing your child with probiotics during the time youre using antibiotics and potentially for a few days after. Less diarrhea in many children and for less days
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Natural Probiotic Supplement
Single Strain & Evidence Based
It is important to select the right probiotic strain researched for and suited to your needs.
Many probiotic companies provide broad spectrum probiotics containing multiple strains in a single dose. However, clinical trials for probiotics are usually conducted with a single strain, and it is unclear how multiple strains in a single dose may interact with or inhibit each other.
Containing only a single strain probiotic, Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716, Qiara Infant is an evidence based strain, and its use and expected outcomes are supported by clinical trials.
Studies have shown that Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716 reduces the incidence of gastrointestinal infections in infants 1-6 months up to 71% and infants 6-12 months by up to 41% .
Qiara Infant AUSTL 228344:
- Contains no added dairy, yeast, eggs, gluten, nuts, soy or salt.
- Contains no animal products, no artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners.
- Is suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.
- Does not require refrigeration .
- Is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 300 million live probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716 per sachet until the expiry date.
- Contains 28 individually sealed sachets per box.
- Recommended dosage 1 sachet per day. If prescribed oral antibiotics or if IV antibiotics have been administered, take 2 sachets per day for 5 days after the antibiotic course is completed, then return to one sachet daily. Take probiotic 2-3 hours before or after antibiotic dose.
Probiotic Supplementation Is Not Associated With Breast Milk Immunity
Innate and adaptive immune cells found in breast milk protect infants from mucosal infections while their immune system develops. To determine if probiotic supplementation influenced the protective potential of breast milk, immune cytokines were examined in the breast milk. In addition, IgE was analyzed to determine if probiotics were associated with markers of allergies whereas sIgA was analyzed as a marker of mucosal protection against enteric disease. The multivariate generalized linear models of the breast milk cytokines showed no differences between groups . Similarly, there were no significant differences between levels of sIgA or IgE in breast milk , showing that probiotic supplementation was not associated with protective immune responses in breast milk.
Infant exposure to probiotics correlates with increased mucosal illness during the first 2 years of life and corresponding immune responses at 5 months of age. Infants exposed to probiotics had significantly higher reported mucosal infections compared to the no probiotics group but were able to clear infections at similar rates. Probiotic exposure during the first 6 months is associated with no changes in breast milk sIgA but modest increases in fecal sIgA. There were no differences in either breast milk or infant stool IgE levels. *Denotes P< 0.05.
Don’t Miss: Improve Gut Health Without Probiotics
Best Strains Of Probiotics For Babies
Researchers of an Australian study found that the best probiotics for infants were ones that included 2-3 strains or species of probiotics . Here are the top three to look for:
1. B. bifidum is one of the first strains to colonize babys intestines and adheres to the intestinal wall better than other strains. It continues to be an important bacteria for digestion and nutrient absorption. It may help with infant skin conditions like baby eczema and yeast infections. It may also help with infant digestive issues such as necrotizing enterocolitis , IBS, constipation, diarrhea, and even lung infections.
2. B. infantis is the strain that is most prevalent and powerful in infants and declines as we age. In fact, a new study shows that this strain may be going extinct in the Western world. This is a huge issue, as it crowds out pathogenic bacteria and helps with overall health and digestion. One review found that B. Infantis can reduce inflammation and support immune function.
3. L. reuteri is a strain that has been found to have many benefits for young children and infants. One study found that children ages 6 months to 3 years who took supplemental L. rheuteri had nearly one third fewer cases of diarrhea and half as many respiratory infections. Another studysuggests that L. rheuteri is an excellent treatment for colic. It was also found to reduce the levels of bacteria that cause tooth decay!
How Does My Child Take Probiotics
Gummies or chews are usually taken once or twice daily. Powdered probiotics are normally taken as 1-2 sachets daily, mixed into cool food or drinks. Liquid drops are usually taken on a teaspoon or mixed into cool food or drinks, once daily. Heating probiotics by adding them to warm foods or drinks may reduce how effective they are. Always follow the directions given.
Read Also: Best Probiotics To Take With Vancomycin
Culturelle Calm + Comfort Probiotic Chamomile Drops
Why its great: In addition to containing the most clinically studied probiotic strain available, these probiotic drops also contain chamomile extract. Chamomile is thought to have calming benefits, as well as help, reduce gas formation in a babys delicate tummy. Giving babies chamomile tea can be tricky . This product can help.
You can have confidence in buying this brand based on the fact that its one of the top pediatrician-recommended baby probiotics on the market. Take comfort in knowing that you can help your baby by reducing the symptoms that most commonly cause fussiness and crying.
Keep in mind: The design of the dropper can make dosing a bit of a challenge.
Good for: Mommas who also like to supplement with chamomile.
Best Baby Probiotics For Specific Conditions
While were still years away from knowing whether all infants and toddlers should take probiotics daily, there is solid science showing that certain strains can, in fact, help with specific health issues. A few examples:
Diarrhea: Runny poop is not uncommon among infants and young children. But if diarrhea persists, it can lead to dangerous dehydration. Taking antibiotics for an ear infection or other ailment makes diarrhea more likely. Fortunately, several studies show that a few select strains help prevent or alleviate diarrhea. These include Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, or LGG, found in Culturelle Kids Daily Chewables, Culturelle Daily Probiotic Packets, and MetaKids Baby Probiotic drops, as well as Saccharomyces boulardi lyo CNCM 1-745, available in FlorastorKids Daily Probiotic Supplement.
Colic: The probiotic L. reuteri DSM 17938 has been well-studied for infants with colic, and the best studies are those done on breastfed babies, Merenstein says. It wont get rid of colic completely, but it will decrease crying time. Some research suggests L. reuteri DSM 17938 may also relieve gastrointestinal upset associated with colic. This strain is found in BioGaia Protectis products, available as drops for infants or chewable tabs for older children, as well as Gerber Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops, Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder Infant Formula, and Pedia-Lax Probiotic Yums.
Don’t Miss: Schiff Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic
These Bacteria Also Enter Your Babys Digestive Tract
One would hope that there would only be friendly bacteria in the birth canal, but if a babys mother doesnt have plenty of good microbes in her own digestive system and vagina, she wont be able to pass on healthy bacteria to her baby.
Unfortunately, as many as 30 percent of pregnant women may have bacterial vaginosis , an unhealthy vaginal microbiome, and potentially pass on dangerous pathogens to their newborn babies instead of the beneficial bacteria that create a foundation for wellness.1
Babies who lack an abundance of beneficial bacteria at the beginning of their lives may start life with painful gastrointestinal pain like gas, colic, and reflux. They may also have infant constipation. They may not develop the necessary immunity or have the ability to cleanse out inherited toxins from their parents and grandparents.
Because about 70 percent of the immune system is located in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue , babies who do not quickly develop a healthy inner ecosystem in their gut may have weakened immunity.2 They may also be more vulnerable to allergies and other serious problems, including potential for autism.3,4
Exactly How And When To Give Your Baby Probiotics
Our recommendation to all mothers is to introduce your baby to fermented foods and drinks by gradually feeding her small amounts.
Many less modernized cultures around the world have long known about the benefits of fermented foods and drinks in baby nutrition. Russians give their babies milk kefir diluted with water when theyre as young as 4 months old.
Recommended Reading: Are Probiotics Safe For Kidney Transplant Patients
Should My Child Take Probiotics After Antibiotics
For some children, antibiotics can change the balance of bacteria in their gut, which can cause diarrhoea. There is some evidence that the same probiotic strains Lactobacillus Rhamnosus and Saccharomyces Boulardii, thought to help diarrhoea after tummy bugs, may also help prevent diarrhoea caused by antibiotics in some children .
However, this does not seem to help all children and researchers are unsure why this is the case. As probiotics arent harmful, you could consider trying them to see if they help your little one.
There is stronger evidence to show probiotic supplements may shorten the length of time diarrhoea continues for after a course of antibiotics .
Best Liquid: Everidis Health Sciences Biogaia Protectis Probiotic Drops
Probiotic drops like BioGaia make it easy to provide comfort for babies suffering from digestive distress. The drops can be mixed with breast milk, formula, or room temperature food. Simply mix 5 drops, and your baby will receive the beneficial L. reuteri probiotic bacteria. Some research shows that L. reuteri is effective for breastfed infants with colic. It may reduce crying and fussing, result in less spit-up, and promote regular bowel movements.
BioGaia comes in a convenient squeeze bottle and is made from non-GMO ingredients with no artificial colors or flavors. It’s also free of dairy and soy, which is especially helpful for babies with allergies.
Another excellent liquid probiotic drop is Mommys Bliss, which is suitable for newborns and older children alike. Each serving provides 1 billion cells of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which is a well-studied probiotic. Mommys Bliss liquid goes above and beyond to ensure that the powerful probiotic bacteria doesnt lose its effectiveness during digestion. It uses a unique microencapsulation process that protects the probiotics from the acidic nature of the gut.
Don’t Miss: How To Use Probiotics To Lose Weight
Mommys Bliss Probiotic Drops
Why its great: The packaging for this probiotic is one of my favorite things about it. Sure it has an excellent strand of probiotic thats proven to improve gut health too, but let me tell you about the dropper. So, most infant probiotics tell you to administer a certain amount of drops, but it can often be hard to know if youre giving your baby the correct amount. And, sometimes its difficult to get the drops out at all . The dropper that comes in this bottle of probiotics has a black line on it, so you know exactly where to draw the liquid up to.
Mommys Bliss is an excellent woman-owned and woman-run company. Because of this, they understand the needs of mommas. With this easy to use product, you know you are giving your baby what they need, from age newborn and up.
Keep in mind: This product should not exceed temperatures above 77, so you will want to store it accordingly.
Good for: Newborn babies, as the product is safe for babies from day one.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Probiotics On Babies
There are no lasting side effects of probiotics on the baby, although there may be a few problems in the initial few days of starting probiotic intake. These are mild digestive problems, like flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea. They occur as a result of the balance changing in the intestine, because of the shift to a higher number of friendly bacteria colonizing the gut. If the symptoms persist, you can try reducing the dosage and increasing it slowly.
Probiotics are a must for babies, as they greatly enhance the immunity and digestive stability of the child. They can reduce common problems like diaper rashes, eczema, constipation and diarrhoea, and play a pivotal role in the nutrition absorption of the child.
You May Like: Best Probiotic Yogurt For Ibs
What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics For Toddlers And Kids
Research shows that some probiotics can help prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea in children. For this reason, pediatricians often recommend that kids take probiotics whenever theyre on antibiotics.
Since some antibiotics wipe out good bacteria along with the infection-causing bacteria, probiotics act as the reserve corps the reinforcements sent in to bulk up the numbers of helpful bacteria and crowd out the illness-causing bacteria.
These good little soldiers also help strengthen the intestinal lining so that bad bugs cant multiply freely, and they may change the intestinal environment, making it more balanced and therefore less desirable for bad bacteria.
Other research has found that probiotics can shorten a bout of diarrhea in children whove caught an infection by about one day.
For now, at least, the strongest evidence for probiotics is for preventing and relieving the kind of diarrhea that comes with antibiotics and the infectious diarrhea that can be picked up at day care and while traveling.
Boost Digestive Health For Your Little One
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. Youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Probiotics, or “good” bacteria, are popular supplements that promote gut health and a healthy microbiome for people of all ages. For children in particular, some evidence shows that probiotics may have beneficial effects for those with digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. The gut health-promoting bacteria may also prevent allergies and improve skin disorders like eczema.
Some clinical trials have shown the use of probiotics to be effective, but it’s best to consult with your family’s healthcare provider to determine whether a probiotic is right for your child. Whether your child prefers a chewable, gummy, liquid, or powder probiotic supplement, there’s a product on the market for every preference.
Here, the best probiotics for kids, selected by a dietitian.
You May Like: Is Culturelle Probiotic Good For Constipation
How Much Probiotic For 11 Month Old Baby
My baby is on an antibiotic and has already had 4 diarrhea diapers and its only 10:30 in the morning. Has anyone had experience with using acidophilus powder or probiotics to decrease the diarrhea? does it matter what brand I use? How much should I give an 11 month old? Thanks!
- Read moreMore fromthat S.S. has writtenS.S.
- Browselocal questionsQuestions
I don’t know about the acidophilus, but my kids have had diarrhea reactions to certain antibiotics. All I did was call my pediatrician, they called in a new prescription for a different type of antibiotic and then my children were fine with the new type. My doctor then knew next time that they did not do well with that certain type.